Trainer Chris Waller is confident that Zoustar is ready for his return to racing in the 2014 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Royal Randwick this Saturday after the talented colt impressed during his final piece of trackwork this morning.
Zoustar worked down the straight at Rosehill Gardens and both Waller and jockey Jim Cassidy were happy with the effort of the son of Northern Meteor.
“He worked out there on his own and he is ready to rock and roll,” Waller told TVN this morning.
“It is just a matter of not doing too much with him.
“He just had a little breeze up the straight and he finished off well.
“Jimmy was on him this morning and he was really happy with the way that he felt.”
Zoustar has not been seen at the races since he finished his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a win in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on November 2, but has been given two barrier trials; finishing fourth in trials at Royal Randwick on February 11 and February 24.
Waller believes that Zoustar will take a little bit of improvement out of his run in the Canterbury Stakes, but is of the opinion that he has the three-year-old fairly forward for the start of his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign.
“It is always hard to tell; you can’t replace race fitness and the things that come along with it,” Waller said.
“They get a little bit working up prior to coming onto the track and they get a little bit nervous at the start, but that seems to disappear when they have their second start, so that is the only improvement that he will make.”
Zoustar has been a physically impressive colt since he made his racing debut in Sydney just over a year ago and Waller said that the Golden Rose Stakes winner had maintained his striking condition during his stint in the spelling paddock ahead of what is set to be his final campaign in Australia.
“He hasn’t changed a lot really,” Waller said.
“He is a pretty straight forward horse and he always has been.
“He has always been a really strong horse and nothing has changed; he is just ready to go.”
Zoustar ($2.40) has opened as favourite in 2014 Canterbury Stakes betting markets from Team Hawkes-trained Not Listenin’tome ($4.50) and the in-form Appearance ($5.50).